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His fight with Father Time leaves scars

Chronicle of Ortiz's first month-plus shows player struggling with baseball mortality

Updated: May 20, 2010, 12:13 PM ET
By Howard Bryant | ESPN.com

Once, when he was the unquestioned baddest man in town, life was a cheerful exercise in invincibility for David Ortiz. He did not back down -- not from Rivera or Halladay, Sabathia or himself -- and even away from the batter's box he resembled a kind of living altar, fortified by a support so unwavering that the doubt that devoured others somehow seemed unable to penetrate him.

Today, the rhythms once soothing and constant are replaced by a jagged current of emotions that ...

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